This programme will focus on the role of local community activism in addressing climate change and related challenges faced by urban centres. Following Purcell and Tyman’s (2014) assertion that growing food can be a ‘radical intervention’ in city life, it will focus on the creation and development of community gardens and the potential for these initiatives to create synergies for wider environmental change beyond local communities. We propose that the principles underpinning community gardens (e.g. collaboration, cohesion, shared activity/goals) can be strong drivers to influence behavioural and attitudinal change in the urban environment, both at individual and collective levels. The programme will explore how community gardens can create positive impacts for diverse voices to come together in collective action to enhance rights, choices and decisions across the urban environments and reclaim residents’ right to the city (Harvey, 2003).

Through a series of participatory and creative workshops, the programme will involve the collaboration of policy-makers, community activists and academic partners from Scotland, Brazil, Portugal, Nepal as well as USA and Kenya. The workshops’ key aim is to build capacity to influence individual and collective changes that can mobilise local communities to be more active to address environmental challenges – such as reuse of organic waste, production of food and strengthened links with wider urban issues that impact on most vulnerable groups. Access to diverse international experiences will help local initiatives to consider novel approaches and better connect local issues with international challenges. The focus will be on how community gardens can be catalysts for wider community mobilisation on environmental issues.

Programme Team

Jenny Glen, University of Dundee

Nina Morris, University of Edinburgh 

Fernando Fernandes, University of Dundee

Juliana Torquato Luiz, CAPINA (Cooperation for Projects of Alternative Inspiration), Brazil

Sufyan El Droubi, University of Dundee

Ana Santos, CEM (Centre for Integration Mercy Hill), Brazil

Raphael Heffron, University of Dundee

Cecilia JF Elizondo, University of Manchester

Fiona M Smith, University of Dundee